Tag:NHL Discipline
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:03 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 10:05 pm

No suspension for Milan Lucic

By: Adam Gretz

Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic had a meeting with Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's vice president of player safety, on Monday afternoon to discuss the play that took place on Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres when Lucic hit goaltender Ryan Miller after he came out of the crease to play a loose puck.

Following Shanahan's review, as well as his discussion with Lucic, it was determined that the Bruins forward will not face any supplemental discipline.

Despite the calls from fans to allow goalies to be hit when the leave their crease, goalies are not "fair game" when they exit the blue paint. The NHL rule book states that incidental contact may be permitted at the referee's discretion when the goalie is playing the puck outside of his crease, as long the skater makes a reasonable effort to avoid the contact.
More on Bruins-Sabres

Said Shanahan, via the league's official web site, "I had the hearing because I did make an initial assessment of the play as I do with all plays, but I did have some questions for Milan and I wanted to hear directly from him. They were regarding his intent; at what point did he know there was going to be a collision; and whether or not he felt he had the time to avoid the collision. I was satisfied with his answers."

Lucic received a two-minute minor for charging, while it was later revealed that Miller suffered a concussion and will not be in the crease when the Sabres visit the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.

Miller was livid following the game and was brutally honest when it came his post-game comments, saying "I just stuck around because I wanted to say what a piece of [feces] I think Lucic is."

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli released a statement relaying his pleasure not only with the NHL's decision, but Lucic not responding to Miller's postgame remarks.

"We are satisfied with the NHL's announcement that there will be no suspension or fine for Milan, and we respect the process that the League took to reach this decision.

"I am also proud that Milan took the high road, and chose not to engage in an exchange of words after the unfortunate comments that were made about him following the game."

The "statement" from Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was decidedly different.

“It just means that teams will be to able do exactly what Lucic did,” Ruff told reporters before Buffalo's game in Montreal. “Your goaltender can play the puck, we can run him over, we can hurt him and all you get is a two-minute minor penalty.

“That is essentially what that means -- You can concuss the other team's goalkeeper ... it means it's fair game on goaltenders again."

Shanahan wasn't on board with the idea that the decision opened pandora's box on goalies across the league, instead condeming Ruff and the Sabres.

"I think Buffalo's comments are irresponsible to suggest that it's open season," Shanahan said at the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony. "I will have this warning for players: `It's not. If you run a goalie you're going to find yourself in the same situation that Lucic was today, you're going to have to explain yourself and you don't explain it sufficiently, and if I don't buy it, you're going to be suspended."'

The Sabres and Bruins meet again on Nov. 23.

The play has been a hot topic of discussion around the league, and on Monday Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson, who coached Miller at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, wondered if the NHL should be doing more to protect goalies. Here's what he had to say from James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail:

"It'll be interesting to see the direction the league's going to go. There's no white papers out there to describe that kind of an injury or hit with regards to goaltenders. If it was a defenceman, you'd say that it was a clean hit.

"However, a goaltender's more or less defenceless in some of those situations. They're not wearing the same type of equipment, they're not built to absorb a 250-pound freight train running you over. Whereas a defenceman may. That's the debate that's going to go on in the next couple of days. Should we be protecting goaltenders?"

Wilson's team has been without its starting goalie, James Reimer, for nearly a month after he took a hit to the head while standing in his crease in a game against the Montreal Canadiens back in October. The NHL general managers meetings are scheduled to start on Tuesday, and while this isn't a subject that was planned on being discussed, it wouldn't be a shock if it makes its way into the conversation at some point.

Click Here For More NHL Discipline News

Brian Stubits contributed to this story

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 4:11 pm

No additional punishment for Aaron Rome

By: Adam Gretz

Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome was ejected during the second period of his team's 4-3 loss in Anaheim on Friday night. After a brief period of wondering whether or not he would face any additional punishment from the NHL for his hit on Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly, Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province reports on Saturday that Rome will not face any additional punishment from the NHL.

Jamieson writes that after reviewing the play Shanahan determined that the punishment handed out during the game was enough. That punishment, of course, was a five-minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct, all of which helped lead to a pair of Anaheim power play goals.

Even though the hit was certainly debatable from a discipline point of view, the fact Rome escaped any additional punishment is somewhat interesting given his banishment during the Stanley Cup Finals for a hit on Boston's Nathan Horton. Whether it's fair or not, Shanahan seems to have put a strong emphasis on a player's history when deciding whether or not to suspend players, as well as the length of the suspension when one is handed out.

Click Here For More NHL Discipline News

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 12, 2011 1:21 am
Edited on: November 12, 2011 12:10 pm

Aaron Rome ejected for elbowing

By: Adam Gretz

The Anaheim Ducks nearly allowed a four-goal lead to slip away in the third period on Friday night but were able to hold on for a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. They were able to jump out to a 4-0 lead after two periods thanks in large part to a five-minute power play in the second period that resulted in a pair of goals, which was part of a six-minute stretch that saw them score three times.

The reason for the five-minute power play was because Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome was ejected for elbowing Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly.

Along with the five-minute major he also received a 10-minute game misconduct.

Even though the call was for elbowing, it appeared that Rome didn't raise his elbow, and it's certainly debatable as to whether or not there was enough contact with the head (or if it was targeted) to make it worthy of any additional punishment. Though, given Rome's history (he was suspended for four games during last year's Stanley Cup Finals for a blindside hit to the head on Boston's Nathan Horton), which seems to play a pretty big role whenever the NHL has handed out supplemental discipline this season, it should be interesting to see if Brendan Shanahan has anything to say about this play.

The win snapped what had been a six-game losing streak for the Ducks, and is just their second win over the past 11 games.

Click Here For More NHL Discipline News

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 3, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 3:56 pm

Shanahan on suspensions and non-suspensions

By: Adam Gretz

When Brendan Shanahan handed out nine suspensions during the preseason the biggest question on our minds was whether or not that torrid pace would continue in the regular season, or if that was simply the message sending and adjustment phase.

A month into the regular season and, as of Thursday morning, Shanahan has issued just four suspensions that have totaled 11 games, while also issuing just two fines. For a comparison, on the same date last season under former NHL disciplinary czar Colin Campbell, the NHL had issued seven suspensions during the regular season that totaled 17 games, along with six fines.

After four suspensions for an illegal hit to the head during a one-week stretch in the preseason, we didn't see our first suspension for a similar play until this week when Edmonton's Andy Sutton received a five-game banishment for his hit to the head of Colorado Avalanche rookie Gabriel Landeskog. Are the players getting the message that was sent out during the preseason and starting to figure out what they are and aren't allowed to do? Or has Shanahan simply softened on what's worthy of a suspension? I think it's a combination of the two, and according to players like Nashville's Mike Fisher, who was on the receiving end of a questionable hit this past week, there is still some confusion from the players perspective.

I do think, simply based on nothing other than my own observations, that we have probably seen a bit of decrease in the number of blatant hits to the head. Whether or not that's because of the run of suspensions during the preseason, combined with the steady stream of video's breaking down each punishment, as well as the videos sent to each team demonstrating legal and illegal hits, is certainly up for debate. There just doesn't seem to be quite as many questionable hits as there were in recent seasons that have left us asking, "is this guy going to get suspended?"

But while they don't seem to be as frequent, they do still exist. Over the past week, for example, there have been a couple that drew some attention that resulted in no punishment from the league, including a play that involved Fisher getting hit by Francois Beauchemin, as well as Rangers forward Wojtek Wolski and his hit on Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson.

Shanahan appeared on NHL Live on Wednesday afternoon and addressed them.

"The first thing players want to know is what can't I do," said Shanahan. "And then the next, maybe just as important question is what can I do. And so we worked really hard in the offseason, players wanted us to get rid of illegal head shots, general managers wanted us to get rid of illegal head shots and I think the fans do to. And I think it's going to trickle down into minor hockey as well, so we talked a lot about this and we worked with the NHLPA, and players contributed to this, we talked about making a full body check."

At that point Shanahan went into a full description of why there was no discipline for Beauchemin:
"We felt that Beauchemin worked hard, right here he's blowing snow, he actually gets in front of Fisher, and he's blowing snow and digging in and he's hitting him in the chest, shoulder and unfortunately there is some incidental contact to the head, but we feel that's a full body check. We've asked the players to do hat, Beauchemin worked really hard to get in front of Fisher, maybe a year ago he doesn't and he hits him from the blindside. Even though he approached from the blindside he didn't deliver the hit, you saw the snow blowing, he got in front of him, stopped, dug in, kept his elbow down, kept his feet on the ice and delivered a hard hit."
And then on the on the Wolski/Alfredsson hit:
"Wolski's not a dirty player, and has no history of being a dirty player. There are collisions that occur on the ice where, unfortunately, one player sees it just prior. On this play here, Wolski has got to get out to his point. You see here, Gaborik, the left winger, has to come all the way to Wolski's point on the right side because Wolski's not there. He ran into Alfredsson trying to get there."

"We've seen enough of these now, and I don't like these, but we've seen enough of them where when one player sees the hit just prior, he tenses up. And sometimes he even leans in because he's bracing for an impact. When both guys see it, it's two guys tensing up and they bounce off each other and everybody's fine. It's really unfortunate here, when one player doesn't see it and the other guy does."

"Now, if I felt this was intentional, or if it wasn't at the last instant, just prior. If I might have felt there was any kind of sneakiness or history of these types of offenses for Wolski, he would have been suspended."
Shanahan's emphasis on prior history, and whether or not a player has a reputation for being a dirty player or a track record of illegal hits has sparked some discussion as well as the concern that there is still way too much inconsistency when it comes to player discipline. Should it really matter if a player has or has not been guilty of an illegal hit in the past when he does eventually commit one? Of course not. An illegal play is an illegal play whether or not it's delivered by Wojtek Wolski, a player with no prior history, or Daniel Carcillo, a player with a lengthy history. Not suspending a player like Wolski because he's never done it before almost seems as if it's giving players one free pass before they get punished.

It's either legal or it's not.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 1, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 8:01 pm

Andy Sutton suspended 5 games

By: Adam Gretz

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton had an in-person hearing with Brendan Shanahan on Monday for his hit to the head of Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog on Friday night. Because the hearing was done in person the NHL had the option of suspending Sutton for at least five games, and that's exactly what it did on Tuesday when Shanahan announced that Sutton will be forced to sit out Edmonton's next five games, which also result in him forfeiting over $57,000 in salary.

"The video shows that as Landeskog looks back to receive the pass in the neutral zone," said Shanahan in his latest suspension video (shown above). "Sutton steps up in anticipation of delivering a hit. Sutton takes an improper route to Landeskog and does not deliver a full body check. Instead he picks Landeskog's head. This is a clear violation of the illegal check to the head rule."

He continued: "At the moment of impact, it's clear that the head is the principal point of contact and has been recklessly targeted. Landeskog is looking back for the pass and rotates his head, but the position of his head does not dramaticallly change. Regardless of whether there is brushing of Landeskog's shoulder, the head is the principal of contact and the head is picked by Sutton."

Shanahan also added that it was taken into consideration that throughout his career Sutton has previously been fined and suspended for various illegal checks and while he is not considered a repeat offender according to the CBA, he felt they could not ignore his history of illegal hits.

Sutton will not be eligible to return to the Oilers lineup until Sunday, Nov. 13 against the Chicago Blackhawks, which is the final game of a six-game road trip the team starts on Thursday. He will miss games against Los Angeles, Phoenix, Montreal, Boston and Detroit.

In 10 games this season Sutton has recorded one assist and logged an average of 16 minutes of ice-time per game.

Said Sutton in a statement released by the team: "I have been informed of and understand the League's decision, however, I had no intention of delivering an illegal check.  For 14 years, I've always played the game with respect and integrity and I will continue to do so when I return."

More NHL Discipline News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 29, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 7:28 pm

Daniel Carcillo suspended 2 games

By: Adam Gretz

Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo had a disciplinary hearing on Saturday afternoon for an incident that occurred during a 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night. Just before the Blackhawks hit the ice on Saturday for a home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, it was announced that he will be suspended two games for his shove from behind on Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen.

There was no penalty called during the game.

In the video describing the suspension, Rob Blake, who was apparently filling in for Brendan Shanahan, offered his description.

"As the video shows, Carcillo leans on Pitkanen from behind," said Blake. "At this point, Pitkanen's balance is intact and his feet are planted securely on the ice. When Carcillo pushes Pitkanen, it throws him forward causing him to toe-pick, which leads to his loss of balance and crashing into the boards. Furthermore, Pitkanen has made no sudden movements just prior to, or simultaneous, to this hit that would have contributed to the contact. This is a violation to the boarding rule."

You can check out the play, as well as Blake's complete explanation right here:

It's the fifth time Carcillo has been suspended in his NHL career, with Blake saying that past history factored in the decision.

More NHL Discipline News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 29, 2011 10:58 am
Edited on: October 29, 2011 4:04 pm

Video: Andy Sutton hit on Gabriel Landeskog

By: Adam Gretz

The Edmonton Oilers continued their hot start on Friday night with a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, their fourth consecutive victory, improving their early season record to 6-2-2, good enough for the top spot in the Northwest Division.

Defenseman Andy Sutton tallied one of the goals during the win, registering his first of the season late in the second period to give Edmonton a 2-0 lead. He also may have drawn some attention from the NHL for an elbowing penalty in the third period when he clipped Avalanche rookie sensation Gabriel Landeskog coming across the neutral zone.

UPDATE: The NHL has announced that Sutton will have an in-person hearing with Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's disciplinary expert, on Monday, which gives him the opportunity of suspending Sutton for more than five games. He will not be eligible to play in Edmoton's game against St. Louis on Sunday.

Along with the five-minute fighting major that he and Shane O'Brien received for the post-hit altercation, Sutton was also issued a two-minute minor for elbowing.

Hello, rule 48.

“They may look at it, they might not," said Sutton following the game, via Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. "I’d do it (that play) again.”

Shanahan may have a busy day on Saturday as Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported that Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo has a hearing scheduled for 1 PM ET for an incident with Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen during Chicago's 3-0 loss on Friday. There was no penalty called on that play.

More NHL Discipline News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: October 22, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: October 22, 2011 11:56 am

Video: George Parros hit on Krys Barch

By: Adam Gretz

Anaheim Ducks forward George Parros is known mostly for two things: being one of the NHL's toughest fighters, and owning perhaps the best mustache in the league (though, Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean certainly has an argument for that title). He also might soon be known for being the next player to earn a suspension for a blindside hit to the head thanks to Friday's game against the Dallas Stars.

During the second period of Anaheim's 3-1 loss, Parros was involved in a colission with Stars forward Krys Barch that has gained a bit of attention this morning and sparked some discussion as to whether or not it was a violation of Rule 48.

Here's the play...

There was no penalty called on the play, but the head definitely appeared to be the principal point of contact. Just because it's worth repeating, here are the nuts and bolts of Rule 48: "A hit resulting in contact with an opponent's head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted. However, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position can be considered.

And now we wait to see whether or not the NHL and Brendan Shanahan feel this play was a violation and worthy of a suspension.

More NHL Discipline News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com